DO YOU DOWN-CLIMB ICE ????????????

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by rockjock, Dec 11, 2019.

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  1. rockjock

    rockjock Member

    Greetings Fellow Ice Climbers,

    Do you down-climb?
    I was up at Frankenstein and was watching climbers top-roping and they all got lowered instead of down-climbing.
    Surprised at how many people think that it is not ever necessary to have the ability to down-climb ice as one of our SKILLS for the HILLS. Whenever I'm top-roping I climb back down, it doubles the climb and I get better and better at it....heaven forbid that I can not be lowered and have to get quickly back to the belay in a self rescue situation and I have not ever practiced down-climbing.
    Same goes for rock......I down climb. It is very rare that I ever see anybody down-climbing. Most people seem to be able to down-climb rock but ICE has different challenges that are made more challenging with the modern design of our tools, they are not designed to work in reverse.

    Anybody have pointer that will help to make us better at down-climbing???.

    With a little practice we all can get better and faster at down-climbing ice.
     
  2. neiceadmin

    neiceadmin Doug Millen Staff Member

    Practice, Practice, and Practice. Down climbing is a necessary skill!
     
    rockjock likes this.
  3. North of Superior Climbing

    North of Superior Climbing SUPERIOR EXPLORATION, ADVENTURE & CLIMBING Northeast Ice Climbing Guide

    Rock Jock, When teaching the complete beginner, in my ICE DAY COURSE, I teach them how to down climb from the top rope anchor. This as you know, makes them look closely at every foot placement and tool placement. Its interesting because on the ICE 2 course, I do this as well. If there is another group on the same ice wall, and they get lowered down, my folks ask me what they are doing. I tell them that they do not know how to down climb. S1.JPG
     
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  4. rockjock

    rockjock Member

    Great tactic, then down-climbing is ingrained in upcoming climbers.


    Anybody have pointer that will help to make us better at down-climbing???.

    I have found that a lighter ax placement helps when it comes to remove the ax and get a lower placement....doing this when top roping lets me experiment with how deep an ax placement I need. I have gotten better at dancing down the ice instead of muscling my way down.
     
  5. North of Superior Climbing

    North of Superior Climbing SUPERIOR EXPLORATION, ADVENTURE & CLIMBING Northeast Ice Climbing Guide

    Next time you do with with ice climbers, watch how they often do not look at their foot placements on the ascent, but when downclimbing they view their foot placements 100 % on the down climb.
    Climb on a top rope and do loops, up-right-down-left-up . good practice for traversing and downclimbing.
     

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